Texas Tech at Kansas State
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium in Manhattan, Ks.
Records: Texas Tech (1-1, 0-1 Big 12); Kansas State (1-1, 1-0 Big 12)
Last meeting: Kansas State defeated Texas Tech 30-27 in Lubbock
What’s on the line?
In the last decade, the Red Raiders only managed to beat the Wildcats once in nine meetings. Heading into the 2010s Texas Tech was riding a five-game winning streak against Kansas State. These two teams would be coming off of similarly season-defining wins had Texas Tech not blown a 15 point lead in the waning moments of last week’s contest against Texas.
For Kansas State, its season has already been deeply confusing. The Wildcats opened with a loss to Arkansas State at home, then upset No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman. Texas Tech badly needs to rebound after nearly pulling off a program-defining upset against Texas.
Earning their first win against the Wildcats since Patrick Mahomes was a sophomore would be the perfect way to get the Red Raiders’ season back on track.
When Texas Tech has the ball
Offensively this season, the Red Raiders have been able to mostly move the ball at will against opposing defenses. Through two games Texas Tech averages 532.5 yards of offense per game and 45.5 points per contest.
Against this Kansas State defense, which allows over 500 total yards of offense per game and 35 points per game, Texas Tech can excel as long as Alan Bowman avoids turnovers. The WIldcats forced Oklahoma’s freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler to commit four turnovers, which helped keep them in the game.
When Kansas State has the ball
A normally suspect offense has found life in this strange season behind the arm of senior QB Skylar Thompson. After two games this season, the Wildcat offense is averaging over 300 passing yards per game (308.5) and averages 34.5 points per game.
If the Red Raiders can get pressure on Thompson they will have an easier time slowing down this passing attack. Texas Tech has 12 tackles for loss this season and five sacks. Defensive linemen Jaylon Hutchings and Eli Howard have led the way on the line wreaking havoc against opposing offensive lines.
Howard has six total tackles on the season, including 1.5 sacks and a pass deflection. As a team the Red Raiders have 15 pass break ups and two interceptions. If Texas Tech wants to add to that total, it will need a big game from its defensive line to force Thompson into making mistakes.
In this series the Red Raiders are 2-6 against Kansas State in Manhattan. These two teams are coming from opposite directions and Kansas State has all the momentum. A team coached by Chris Kleiman won’t keep being hamstrung by committing silly penalties and mental errors.
Bowman has performed fairly well this season but has a bad habit of committing costly turnovers. This game will stay close until the end, like most of the matchups between these two programs, but ultimately the Wildcats will come out on top.
Score: Texas Tech 35, Kansas State 38
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